Revised: September 27, 2015
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Glossary of Coffee Terminology
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rancid
A taste fault giving the coffee brew a highly displeasing taste. The rancid flavor of a roasted coffee is caused by the oxidation of the fats.

rich
Intensity description indicating gases and vapors are present at highly pronounced strengths.

richness
Richness partly refers to body, partly to flavor; at times even to acidity. The term describes an interesting, satisfying fullness. Of the coffees I suggest you try, the Sumatran should be the richest in body and the Yemen Mocha should have the richest acidity. The term rich would probably not be used in any context with the Mexican coffee.

rio
With particular reference to Brazils, an iodine-like flavor that can be very pungent.

rioy
A taste fault giving the coffee beans a highly pronounced medicinal character. Result of continued enzyme activity when coffee beans remain in the fruit and the fruit dries on the shrub. Usually associated with natural processed coffees grown in Brazil. Typified by coffees grown in the Rio district of Brazil.

roasty
Relative strength of the natural components of the coffee flavor is modified by the degree of roasting, resulting in high character.

roast taste
Terms describing the characteristic collective flavor complex of darker roasts. The acidy notes are gone, replaced by pungent notes combined with a subtle, caramel sweetness. Some people call this often unnamed group of sensations "roast taste" or the "taste of the roast."

robusta
High in caffeine and rather bitter. Generally less acid and less aromatic than arabica coffee. Often slightly woody.

rough
A secondary coffee sensation characterized by a predominantly rasping, salty sensation on the palette or tongue. Caused by the additive property of salt taste sensations.

round
A balanced coffee whose basic organoleptic characteristics are just at the right level, with none particularly apparent, giving the impression of roundness.

rounded
An intensity description indicating a reduced range of gases and vapors is present at a moderately perceptible strength.

rubbery
A taste fault giving the coffee beans a highly pronounced burnt-rubber character. Result of continued enzyme activity in the coffee bean when it remains in the fruit and the fruit is allowed to dry on the shrub. Usually associated with natural processed robusta coffees grown in Africa.


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